GSA awards Networx Enterprise to five vendors

The General Services Administration has awarded a spot on the Networx Enterprise contract to all five companies that had bid on it. The award, announced today, completes the contract award phase of the Networx program.

The winners include AT&T Corp., Verizon Communications Inc. and Qwest Government Services Inc., all of which earlier earned places on Networx Universal, the more expansive part of the Networx program. Sprint Solutions Inc., which had bid unsuccessfully on Universal, also won a place on Enterprise. The final Enterprise winner is Level 3 Communications LLC, which had not bid on Universal.

The Networx program is GSA's successor to its FTS 2001 contracts, which are nearing expiration. Agencies will have about two years to move their services from the old contract vehicle to the new. Networx itself has a maximum lifespan of 10 years and an estimated value of about $20 billion, according to GSA. It covers voice, Internet protocol, wireless, satellite and IP-centric services. Through the contract program, GSA plans to move the federal government off of older communications technologies and into new networks based on IP and multiprotocol label switching systems.

"With this award and other recent awards, we're bringing our customers the full range of options for telecommunication services available," said Jim Williams, GSA's Federal Acquisition Service commissioner.

Networx Universal includes 37 mandatory services and 11 optional ones, and requires its providers to be able to provide the services to federal offices around the world. Networx Enterprise, intended as a vehicle for more specialized and localized services, has only 10 mandatory services, but includes specifications for 42 more optional offerings.

About the Author

Technology journalist Michael Hardy is a former FCW editor.

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